Updated: Sep 5
Add some festive coziness to your Allentown front porch with some fun fall decorations. The sky's the limit when it comes to fun porch decor, and you can let your imagination run wild. But if you’re a little stumped for inspiration, or not sure where to start, here are a few ideas to get your creativity flowing.
Pumpkins and gourds are a classic fall decor element, but just plunking a few of them on the steps might not entirely give you that cozy and welcoming vibe. Here are a few different ways you can step up the style with pumpkins and gourds
Display a bountiful gourd harvest. Whether you grow them yourself, or you buy them, filling a large container, like an antique wash tub, or a big wooden crate, or a vintage wheelbarrow, with an assortment of pumpkins and gourds reminds us of the harvest season.
Pro tip: fill the bottom of your container with empty boxes, empty soda bottles, or straw. Then lay a piece of burlap over the top to obscure them, and set your pumpkins and gourds on top. This means you’ll only need enough pumpkins for the top layer of the container, and it will help keep the pumpkins dry in case of wet weather.
Make Pumpkin Topiary Stacks. Stacking your pumpkins, sort of like a snowman displays the unique colors and shapes of them and adds height to your decor. You could stack them in planters, or just on their own. Add a uniquely shaped gourd on top for even more interest. Add pretty ribbons, fall leaf garland, or fairy lights, vertically from the bottom to the top, or around each layer for a final touch.
Pro tip: cut the stems down as short as you can before stacking. Play with them a bit to find how they naturally balance and then use hot glue to secure the next pumpkin on top of your stack.
Paint your pumpkins. Painting your pumpkins opens up a world of possibilities, and they last a lot longer than carved pumpkins. Do you want orange, but not so bright? Whitewash them for a pastel effect. Paint words on them like “Welcome” or “Spooky” in pretty text. Paint cute pictures or design motifs on them, like silhouettes, paisley patterns, or plaid.
Pro tip: wash and dry your pumpkins first, use a base or primer coat if you’re changing up the color entirely, and spray with a sealer coat when finished.
Hay or straw bales and corn stalks are another commonly used element in fall porch designs. On their own, they are a bit boring and monochrome. But with a few little tweaks and accents, they can add some personality to your front porch. Here are a few ideas for adding bales and corn stalks to your porch.
Use hay bales to make an inviting seating area. Don’t have a porch swing? No problem, arrange a couple of hay or straw bales on your porch. Drape some cute seasonally colored cozy blankets over them, and add a side table to make a cute and comfortable seating area.
Pro tip: add an antique-looking lantern to the side table for ambiance, a large pumpkin on one side of each bale as an armrest, and cute seasonal throw pillows.
No stairs? No problem; use bales to create different levels to display your fall decor pieces. You can stack bales in several different ways to give you different levels to show your favorite fall pieces, like an assortment of pumpkins or gourds.
Pro tip: standing a bale vertically gives you an even taller level to set things on and gives you something to lean decor items up against. You can also secure lighter pieces that could be lifted by the wind to the twine with some string.
Use cornstalks to add a festive touch to lamp posts or mailbox posts. Bunch several stalks of corn together and tie them to poles on either side of your front steps, or the post of your mailbox, or fence posts. Add a brightly colored seasonal ribbon to finish it off.
Pro tip: bunch 3-4 stalks and tie them together, and then secure each bunch to the post individually. It’s much easier to position and secure a small bunch than to try and keep several individual stalks positioned and straight while you try to tie them all up at once.
Use corn stalks to add height and background for dried floral arrangements. A backdrop of cornstalks can help colorful dried florals, an arrangement of pumpkins and gourds, or chrysanthemums stand out better.
Pro-tip: cornstalks can be inclined to fall over in the wind, and do best with some support. Lean them against a wall or a post. If you have a post, secure them to the post to keep them from falling over in the wind. It’s also helpful to put something heaving at the bottom of your container to keep it stable.
Live plants are a simple and beautiful way to finish off your porch decor. Several different types of plants are perfect for fall, including chrysanthemums, asters, ornamental kale, and ornamental grasses are a simple way to add color, texture, and life to your porch decor.
Tuck in chrysanthemums or asters for color and texture. Use these bright and cheerful flowers to add more variation to your pumpkins, gourds, corn stalks, and hay bales. Chrysanthemums look great in all sorts of containers, but simple things like antique tin buckets, bushel baskets, or crocks are the perfect accent for mums.
Pro tip: too many pumpkins? Cut the tops off a few, clean out the seeds, and set your chrysanthemum pots right into the pumpkin.
Grow ornamental grasses in planters all summer, and keep the grasses in them in the fall. Dig out the old annuals that are looking sad, but leave the grasses in. Add fall annuals like pansies or celosia to change up the look for fall.
Pro tip: add some pretty colored twigs, like dogwood, into the planter with your grasses to add more texture and color.
Extend the season with ornamental cabbage and kale. Ornamental cabbage and kale can withstand temperatures as low as 5ºF, and the best part is, their colors get more intense and beautiful once they’ve had some frost. You may even be able to keep ornamental kale and cabbages in your planters all winter long.
Pro tip: set a reminder on your phone to regularly water your plants like cabbage, kale, chrysanthemums, and asters. With the wind and sunshine in autumn, and how dense these plants usually are, they can drink a lot of water. Keeping them well watered until we’re consistently below freezing at night will help keep them looking lush for as long as possible.
Whether your brain is bursting with ideas, or you need a little more inspiration, stop by the garden center. There are many fun ideas for different ways to decorate your porch in store and plenty of fall plants to add to your style.